David Kettlewell died, of heart disease, in April 2011. His websites, including this one on his work on fonts and type-faces are maintained as a memorial to his ideas, and his influence on the people who met him. Throughout, his words have been left in the present tense, as he wrote them. *********************************************************************

avid plays the harp, wrote his PhD thesis on the dulcimer, has been a professor at Tartu University teaching people how to put music together the way renaissance composers did it and directing baroque operas with people who thought they couldn't sing, looks after the visitors to a mediæval church in the north of Sweden and paints in traditional Swedish style on sheepskin, and he's taught people who 'can't draw or paint' how they can always do something beautiful if they follow the approach of the mediæval and renaissance artists: but type?!

"Oh yes, indeed, it's been a dream ever since younger days, when I was collecting affordable editions of the books of hours and the Book of Kells and renaissance writing manuals - and of course that completely dog-eared and worn-out Letraset catalogue from the 1960s was like a secret bible, a source of inspiration in troubled times, whispering that there really is a better world, where everything is beautiful, everything stands in proportion to everything else, all characters and lanuages and sizes are equally important ...

"I've always copied the letters by hand to make birthday cards and signs, and I have one published book which is entirely hand-written. I used to dream that one day I might be able to do something a bit more systematic with the letters, with medieval & renaissance calligraphy, the work of the old printers, my handwriting and so on... And then suddenly it all became possible, with the 'Fontographer' program for creating typefaces and fonts, affordable as part of the FreeHand Graphics Studio ... and now the most beautiful results are accessible with little more than an 'entry-level' scanner and a mouse-click to activate an "automatic trace" command ...

I've written lots at the Fontografia web-site about how you can use fonts and how you can make them and my own experiences, with some hints to help other people starting out on a similar journey. Fontographer itself feels a bit long in the tooth now, and I'm so happy to have discovered its successor in the serious font-making world, the FontLab suite of programmes, and to have come into dialogue with its amazing and brilliant creators.

"Then out of the blue I heard from Richard Bradley, designer of Bradley Hand which Microsoft ship with their programmes, and other gems which they don't, wondering how he might get some circulation for his new, beautiful, pen-and-ink type-designs in an exclusively-digital world; that led to me playing a bit with them and getting very excited about the results, many of which you can see in the New Renaissance Fonts listing.

"Apart from those, my own fonts are based on my experience of renaissance culture, partly direct scans from older writing books and beautiful writing, partly newer designs inspired by renaissance models, some drawn and painted by others in my circle like Karin and Dagmar and Anders."